This edition, the famous Constance Garnett translation, has been revised throughout by Leonard J. Kent and Nina Berberova.
"Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." So begins Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy's great modern novel of an adulterous affair set against the backdrop of Moscow and St. Petersburg high society in the later half of the nineteenth century. A sophisticated woman who is respectably married to a government bureaucrat, Anna begins a passionate, all-consuming involvement with a rich army officer. Refusing to conduct a discreet affair, she scandalizes society by abandoning both her husband and her young son for Count Vronsky--with tragic consequences. Running parallel is the story of the courtship and marriage of Konstantin Levin (the melancholy nobleman who is Tolstoy's stand-in) and Princess Kitty Shcherbatsky.
Levin's spiritual searching and growth reflect the religious ideals that at the time Tolstoy was evolving for himself. Taken together, the two plots embroider a vast canvas that ultimately encompasses all levels of Russian society. "Now and then Tolstoy's novel writes its own self, is produced by its matter, but its subject," noted Vladimir Nabokov. "Anna Karenina is one of the greatest love stories in world literature." As Matthew Arnold wrote in his celebrated essay on Tolstoy: "We are not to take Anna Karenina as a work of art; we are to take it as a piece of life."
From the Hardcover edition.
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|Title of Suspense & Thrillers eBook: Anna Karenina|
|Release Date: 03-28-2012|
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|Publisher: Random House Publishing Group|
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Chapter OneSince Anna Karenina was published in 1877, almost everyone who matters in the history of literature has put in his two cents (and a few who stand out in other realms-from Matthew Arnold, who wrote a cogent essay in 1887 about "Count Tolstoy's" novel, to Lenin, who, while acknowledging his "first class works of world literature," refers to him as "a worn out sniveller who beat his breast and boasted to the world that he now lived on rice patties").
Dostoyevsky, a contemporary, declared Anna Karenina perfect "as an artistic production." Proust calls Tolstoy "a serene god." Comparing his work to that of Balzac, he said, "In Tolstoi everything is great by nature-the droppings of an elephant beside those of a goat. Those great harvest scenes in Anna K., the hunting scenes, the skating scenes ..." Flaubert just exclaims, "What an artist and what a psychologist!" Virginia Woolf declares him "greatest of all novelists.... He notices the blue or red of a child's frock ... every twig, every feather sticks to his magnet."
A few cranks, of course, weigh in on the other side. Joseph Conrad wrote a complimentary letter to Constance Garnett's husband and mentioned, "of the thing itself I think but little," a crack Nabokov never forgave him. Turgenev said, "I don't like Anna Karenina, although there are some truly great pages in it (the races, the mowing, the hunting). But it's all sour, it reeks of Moscow, incense, old maids, Slavophilism, the nobility, etc. ... The second part is trivial and boring." But Turgenev was by then an ex-friend and Tolstoy had once challenged him to a duel.
E. M. Forster said, "Great chords begin to sound, an...
Title: Anna Karenina July 23, 2012 Why is it over 500 pages? It's a boring story about some broad's love life with drunk suicidal dudes. My god, it's one of the few stories that's just as boring on FILM. Any time I hear someone say they liked this book, I tune out and KNOW they 1) did not read the whole thing 2) are just some dilettante trying to establish some cred. This book blew.
Average Customer Review:
Number of Comments: 1 Rating(s) 1 Review(s)
If you can't say it in 500 pgs...
Reviewer: A reader from Los Angeles, CA USA
July 23, 2012
Why is it over 500 pages? It's a boring story about some broad's love life with drunk suicidal dudes. My god, it's one of the few stories that's just as boring on FILM. Any time I hear someone say they liked this book, I tune out and KNOW they 1) did not read the whole thing 2) are just some dilettante trying to establish some cred. This book blew.
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